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Councillor’s Ordeal Over Pride Tweet

by | Wed, Feb 28 2024

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The British Conservative Party has taken more than six months to advise a devout Christian councillor and party member that a social media post for which he was suspended last July, was not considered hateful. That’s what a panel appointed by the party to investigate the incident decided last November, but it took the party another three months to inform the councillor.

North Northamptonshire Councillor King Lawal was suspended for including the words Pride is a not a virtue, but a Sin as part of a longer tweet that was later deleted. It read in full: When did Pride become a thing to celebrate. Because of Pride Satan fell as an arch Angel. Pride is not a virtue, but a Sin. Those who have Pride should Repent of their sins and return to Jesus Christ. He can save you. 

His message related to his concern about witnessing naked men appearing at a Pride event being attended by children. A public outcry over his tweet led to his cancellation by seven organisations, including being suspended by the Conservative Party for three months until he was reinstated in October.

At the time, the 31-year-old tried to defend his views by saying: “When Christians refer to ‘sin’ or ‘sinners’ we are speaking of ourselves. We are not singling out specific people or groups of people as sinners. Sin according to the Bible includes lying, stealing, gossip and hatred, not just things like homosexuality, adultery and sex outside of the marriage. Jesus said that even to have unholy thoughts that we never act on is sinful. Therefore every single one of us is sinful by this standard, including myself.”

He continued: “I therefore do not come against those celebrating Pride to attack who they are, my intention was to say that I would not celebrate this any more than I would celebrate a month of gossip or anything else the Bible calls sin.”

In a related incident, another councillor Anthony Stevens was arrested at home in front of his children for an alleged hate crime after speaking out in support of Councillor Lawal. The police later decided to take no further action against him..

In a written judgement sent to Councillor Lawal, a disciplinary sub-committee at Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) concluded “it would be wrong to conflate an objection to the Pride movement as homophobic. The Panel recognises that the posts are a representation of his religious beliefs, which he is free and entitled to hold. Accordingly, the posts, whilst they may be offensive to some, would on balance not be considered by a reasonable and fair-minded observer to be discriminatory or homophobic per se.”

The councillor welcomed the judgment, but said he was appalled to have been investigated in the first place. “For over six months I have had the cloud of this investigation hanging over me, even when the local council reinstated me. What has happened to me is a microcosm of what is coming under a potential Labour government, and how in many ways significant factions of the Conservative Party have turned their back on their own supporters and values.”

“How I have been treated is really troubling for a democratic society. It must ring alarm bells as this can now happen to anyone that is not in support of this extreme LGBT movement. The Bible tells us that to live out a true Christian calling you have to pick up your cross and that the world will hate you for standing for Him and truth. I am determined to continue to fight for justice and to clear my name and ensure that this does not happen to another person.”

“My ambition for the future is to stand as an MP. This country and the Conservative Party especially, needs more passionate Christian leaders and politicians, not less. It is time that the true voice of the majority of Christians was heard in Parliament.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which supported the councillor, said he had faced “unprecedented” repercussions for expressing his Christian beliefs. “What happened demonstrates that Christians who hold public office can no longer express their beliefs without having their careers and lives dismantled,” CCHQ should have stood by Councillor Lawal and defended his Christian freedoms instead of joining in the attack and mirroring intolerant Labour Party activists determined to eradicate Christian beliefs from the public square.

“What has happened to [Councillors Lawal and Stevens] has been a stain upon the Conservative and Labour parties, and more must be done to protect Christian MPs and councillors who express standard Christian beliefs on a range of important issues.”